The printed version of the BDB Hebrew lexicon has a wealth of etymological information from other Semitic languages. I was rather put out when I discovered that a significant part of this etymological data is missing from the electronic version of BDB included in BibleWorks. Browsing through the entries in BW's BDB, you will find many asterisks in the etymology section that is usually found right after the listing of the root. Wherever the etymological data is from "Ar." (Arabic), "Sy." (Syriac), "Sam." (Samaritan) or "Eth." (Ethiopic), the information has been replaced with "<*>". For an example, see the entry for qnc in BW's BDB (Strong no. 8242). Evidence from Aramaic and Phoenician fared fared better, because these employ the same alphabet as Hebrew and could be represented. And the "As." (Assyrian, what we now call Akkadian) entries were transliterated into Latin characters in the printed BDB, so they were also retained in the electronic version.
Well, this is a major bummer for scholars who need this information about words in cognate Semitic languages that are related to the Hebrew word in question. I assume that this was done because of font limitations at the time the electronic version of BDB was produced.
Now I am contemplating purchasing the HALOT module for BibleWorks, which is described as "the complete and unabridged fourth edition." However, before I shell out $200 for the HALOT/BDAG combination, I would like to know if this "complete and unabridged" edition is really that, or if, like BDB, it omits this valuable information from Syriac, Arabic, etc. And what about Ugaritic evidence?
Please let me know.